This story is part of WHYY’s series “COVID-19: Remembering lives we’ve lost,” about the everyday people the Philadelphia region has lost to the coronavirus pandemic, the lives they lived, and what they meant to their families, friends, and communities.
Tom and Betsy Pizzolato say their longtime friend Hugh Frick was a “curmudgeon — in a kind way.”
The retired University of Delaware plant physiology professor was a complex man, known for a dry and sarcastic sense of humor that not everyone understood.
Hugh was the kind of man “you had to get to know.” But once friends and acquaintances spent time with him, they discovered a funny, warm person who had a talent for helping others feel good about themselves.
Hugh’s former students say he was a “character,” who could be seen walking around the lab wearing clogs, a pipe in one hand and a hand towel hanging from his belt to wipe his hands — rather than waste copious amounts of paper towels.
Hugh was frugal, riding his bike to the university, and wearing second-hand clothes — but loved ones say he was never stingy when it came to supporting students, friends and family. While he wasn’t one to show emotions or easily say “I love you,” he was devoted to those he cared about.
“He wouldn’t just give out praise, but when you earned it, you knew it,” said his daughter Tegan Maybrun.
Hugh died of COVID-19 on April 14 in Newark, Delaware at the age of 84.
Click on the headline below for the story from WHYY.